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Environment

Public Comments Being Taken For Genesee River Projects

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WXXI
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Brown-green waters of the Genesee River carry a heavy load of silt through Rochester and into Lake Ontario. That's one of 37 watersheds conference says need to be addressed.

The government agencies overseeing restoration projects for the Genesee River are now accepting public comments. 

It's called the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Genesee River, and it's an outgrowth of a financial settlement that Eastman Kodak agreed to in 2014 regarding the impact its operations may have had on parts of the river.

The settlement means $4.3 million will be made available for restoration projects, and Amy Roe, who is a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says there are a number of possibilities, including wetland restoration, improving conditions for wildlife and recreational use projects.

But she says the Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are taking comments from the public until September 30th.

“Are we missing any restoration categories ? Is there a type of restoration particular that the public would like us to focus on more than others ?”

Roe says “the goal would be to do high quality projects in that area first because that is our highest priority, because that was the main assessment area; But then, have enough money left over to work our way upstream into the watershed where we have the sediment and nutrient issues.”

The comments can be mailed or emailed to:  Amy Roe, Environmental Quality Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New York 13045 or by email: Amy_Roe@fws.gov

Roe says the formal request for proposals will likely go out early next year, and it's possible some projects may begin in the fall of 2017 or early 2018 .